Member of the Council of Senior Scholars and Adviser at the Royal Court, Sheikh Abdullah bin Sulaiman in the Hajj sermon told the pilgrims gathered in Mount Arafat that the difficulties they face in this life were a test from Allah.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Sulaiman, in his sermon from Masjid-e-Nimra on Thursday, thanked the Almighty for the various blessings He had bestowed on mankind. "Piety ensures man stays away from evil," he said. "I bear witness that there is no God but Allah."
He added that sacrifice and worship was only for Allah, laying emphasis on the obligatory or farz acts on Muslims.
He paid tribute to Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), saying that he had spent his entire life for the welfare of mankind. Sheikh Suleman said that those who remained steadfast on the right path, with patience, will receive glad tidings at the end.
"The difficulties of this life are a test from Allah," he said. "It is only through worship that you can ward off afflictions."
He said that it afflictions and problems came upon people due to Allah's will as He was the Creator of everything.
Pilgrims at Arafat
The pilgrims arrived at the plains of the Mount Arafat on Thursday, as the Saudi Arabia holds a “downsized” Hajj amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
General clinics at Arafat have been installed which will have doctors, consultants and intensive care nurses to help pilgrims. The health provisions will also deal with any pilgrim suffering from a heat stroke or stress.
A camp has been prepared by the government in Arafat to isolate any COVID-19 patient among the pilgrims for medical treatment. On the other hand, the Saudi Civil Defence forces will be ready to provide security to the pilgrims as they make their way to the holy place.
"All parties involved are carrying out their tasks to handle any risks according to the general plan for the Haj pilgrimage,” said The commander of the Civil Defense for Hajj, Maj. Gen. Hamoud Al Faraj.
Saudi authorities have limited the number pilgrims attending this year's Haj to 1,000 to contain the spread of COVID-19. However, some local reports state that as many as 10,000 pilgrims will be performing the Hajj.
Kaaba Kiswa replaced
The Saudi Press Agency reported that the Kiswa of the Kaabah was replaced Wednesday night and in accordance with tradition, the process was administered by the staff of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques.
In a statement, the deputy head of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques said that the Kaabah had been cloaked with a new Kiswa which comprised of four sides and a sitar (curtain) for the door.
“The process began from the side of the Hateem (a semi-circular wall opposite the northwest wall of the Kaaba), because Al-Mizab (a rainwater spout made of gold) requires a special opening at the top. After consolidating all the sides, the corners were fixed by sewing them from the top of the cloth to the bottom,” he said.
As many as 200 Saudi craftsmen are engaged in producing the black curtain at the King Abdul Aziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa, Al-Mansouri said.